1. ITV Report

Chief Constable defends police privatisation plans

The Chief Constable of the West Midlands is appearing before a committee of MPs to defend his plans to invite private companies to bid for contracts to carry out police work.

Chris Sims insists the duties that would be contracted out would be to support officers to carry out frontline work by taking over back room tasks such as IT and data management.

The West Midlands and Surrey forces have proposals to invite private firms to bid for seven year contracts worth around £1.5 billion.

Chris Sims speaking at previous conference Credit: ITV Central

MPs on the Home Affairs select committee including the Walsall North MP David Winnick are concerned that public money being spent in this way does not amount to “privatisation” of the police.

Chris Sims said today: “There are lots of forces following what we are doing and they may decide to go on the same journey.”

The West Midlands force like others across the Midlands is facing 20% cuts to budgets. The Chief Constable believes that including the private sector will help save money while improving efficiency.

Police on patrol in the Midlands Credit: ITV Central